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Support Groups for the Terminally Ill

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 6 Mar 2018 | comments*Discuss
Terminal Illness Support Groups Online

Finding out that you are terminally ill is a frightening and disheartening experience, and can be quite lonely, as well. Patients are often hesitant to reveal all of their complicated emotions to close friends and family members, who are likely to be going through rough adjustments, too.

Despite the fact that confiding in those closest may be difficult, many terminally ill patients feel the need to express their fears in order to work through them. Participation in support groups can offer outlets for emotion, as well as providing a sense of connectedness to others who are travelling the same road.

Finding a Local Group

Patients interested in locating support groups in their neighbourhoods can begin their search by inquiring at their doctor's office or hospital. Some groups hold meetings in the common areas of hospitals, others in churches or community centres, and in some areas, support groups may even gather in the homes of one or more members.

Support groups are readily available on most large communities, but even small towns may host opportunities for terminally ill patients to gather and offer one another ongoing support and encouragement.

Groups may be of a general variety, with people undergoing treatment for a variety of illnesses in attendance, or may be specific to a certain illness or disorder. Often, those suffering from rare illnesses may have a more difficult time locating local meetings than those who have been diagnosed with more common ailments.

Online Support Groups

Easy access to the internet has made it possible for people from all across the world to "meet" and form bonds, typically by connecting through membership in one of the popular social networking sites. Many of these sites allow members to organise groups, and support groups for all varieties of illness are common.

Often, these online friendships can become quite meaningful, with people growing close by sharing their feelings, hopes, and fears while enjoying the relative anonymity of internet participation.

Supporting One Another

Often, terminally ill patients are the recipients of enormous outpourings of sympathy from friends, coworkers, and loved ones, but as well meaning as this type of attention is, it can be tiresome for those who are doing all that they can to direct at least some of their focus on anything except their illness.

By forming connections with others who are in the same position, terminally ill patients can be free to express all of their emotions, even those that may be taken as an offence from those in their closest circle, and can even take time to explore other aspects of their lives, beyond their illness and treatment.

Being seriously ill can become all-consuming, but those who get involved in support groups may find some relief from their own situation by focusing on the lives of other members.

Coping with terminal illness goes far beyond merely managing symptoms and exploring treatment options. Often, the emotional components of serious illness can be every bit as troublesome as the physical aspects. Illness has the power to change everything about a person's life - from their personal relationships to their financial situation, and sometimes, these changes can in themselves be overwhelming.

The ability to connect with others who truly understand the experiences associated with terminal illness can be an enormous gift to those who are manoeuvring this difficult and confusing time.

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[Add a Comment]
Hi im 46 and 2 years ago I was diagnosed with CHF. I have a 5 kids 9g,11b,18b,22g24g. Wife of 20+ years left in 2013 when the heart trouble forced me to quit working. Feel so alone, also can't form new relationships with healthy individuals because it feels selfish. Any support groups near Portland, OR or Vancouver, WA. ?
Smurf - 6-Mar-18 @ 11:56 PM
Hi I am the mother of a 23 year old chronicly ill 4Th stage kidney dialysis patient and this is the first time i have actually said it. He is a young man that has never given me a moment of trouble but has been a kidney patient sence birth . i did everything right carrying him but yet something happened anyway. I need help
Wonder - 17-Jan-18 @ 2:42 PM
@meg - so sorry to hear this. Bless you. You need to speak to people who are in a similar situation :(
Jules60 - 25-Sep-17 @ 9:53 AM
I'm Megan and I'm 26 married with 3 children. I'm so scared, I don't want to leave my children behind.
meg - 24-Sep-17 @ 2:36 AM
I am a 66 year old male , in Vancouver BC < Have IPFand just told that I haveStenosis of my Aortic Valve , In the last three years I have had quadby pass , divorced after 25 years , waspensioned off after 40 years and live on my own chopper - 29-May-17 @ 11:25 PM
Hello, I am a 68 y/o female, with end stage COPD and heart failure.I am contemplating end of life care, palliative care, hospice etc.I live alone and am looking for a support group with just people to talk to, make fun of my symptoms, get some advice and feedback, etc.
Nana - 14-Apr-17 @ 8:50 PM
Dom - Your Question:
Hi I'm a 57 year old that has been living with heart disease for 15 yrs now. I have turned the corner and has become terminal. I was just wondering if there is others out there that might want to talk. I could use conversation with people who are going through a similar experience.

Our Response:
I am very sorry to hear this. You may wish to join a couple of forums if you feel you need to talk, please see link here and here. I hope these help.
TerminalIllness - 10-Oct-16 @ 12:03 PM
Hi I'm a 57 year old that has been living with heart disease for 15 yrs now. I have turned the corner and has become terminal. I was just wondering if there is others out there that might want to talk. I could use conversation with people who are going through a similar experience .
Dom - 9-Oct-16 @ 4:56 PM
Hello there!Sorry nobody told you! Are you still on this site?If you are, please get back to me and hopefully we can share this 'terminal' adventure with each other. I am a 54 year old woman although I act 18.When the doctor diagnosed me with Mantel Cell Lymphoma in August of 2011, he told me I had to start immediate, aggressive, radiation and chemo and then a stem cell transplant.He told me that without it I probably wouldn't last a year.Fat chance!He then asked me if I was interested in grief counselling.I said 'Sure!Who do you want me to counsel?LOLI never went back and three years later, I'm still here and laughing! I like your sense of humour and positive attitude and do hope you get back to me so we can compare notes (and pranks!!!LOL)
Still Laughing - 5-Aug-14 @ 12:54 AM
hi folks i on 52 days (roughly)looking for others in same boat to talk toi call myself joker cos that my coping mechanismwith other support groups you can talk to people who have been through the samebut not with this or if i do meet someone like that i will know i am dead and no one told me
joker26 - 14-May-13 @ 3:31 PM
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